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Presley's 1st record, 'My Happiness,' auctions for $300,000

MEMPHIS — An acetate recording of the ballad “My Happiness,” the first song Elvis Presley ever recorded, sold at auction Thursday night for $300,000. An undisclosed Internet buyer placed the winning bid at Graceland, the museum and tourist attraction that was Presley’s former home. The auction was held on what would have been the late singer’s 80th birthday. The 78 ...

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Speckled Trout World Championship moves to Gulfport Harbor

GULFPORT — The Speckled Trout World Championship is ready to move into bigger waters. The fishing tourney is scheduled for May 14-16 at Gulfport Harbor. John Rea, President of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Fishing Tournaments Inc., tells WLOX-TV in Biloxi that the tournament it has grown too big for the previous location at the Dock Bar and Grill in Gulfport. Prize money ...

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Tupelo plans city-wide events celebrate Elvis birthday

TUPELO — On Thursday, Tupelo launches a birthday celebration fit for the king of rock and roll. Seven organizations will participate in a city-wide event schedule, culminating with an Elvis Presley-themed concert from the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Richard Marx. The Elvis Presley Birthplace will host their annual birthday party Thursday. There will be a sing-along version of the film “Jailhouse ...

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CUBA — ¿si? or ¿no? Mississippi’s cigar lovers hold their breath

By Jack Weatherly Cuban cigars have become, for many Americans, the stuff that dreams are made of. That’s because the trade embargo imposed by the United States more than 50 years ago on the communist nation 90 miles off the coast of Florida has blocked legal sales in this country. Now President Obama has struck a match by re-establishing diplomatic ...

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Birdwatching generates big bucks for coastal economy with room to grow

By Tammy Leytham Wildlife watching – including birding – contributes millions of dollars each year to coastal coffers and with the new Pascagoula River Audubon Center opening in 2015, the sky’s the limit. Because birders like to plan trips to areas where they can see multiple natural attractions, the coastal counties are poised for growth in nature-based tourism, said Dr. ...

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Boomtown adds daiquiri bar to welcome center

BILOXI — Boomtown Casino Biloxi will convert its Welcome Center property across from Beau Rivage into Fat Tuesday at Boomtown Daiquiri Bar and Welcome Center. The Sun Herald reports the target opening date is early February. The company said Monday Fat Tuesday will offer more than 12 varieties of New Orleans-style daiquiris. The bar and outdoor patio will be equipped ...

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Hattiesburg hires counsel to handle complaint

HATTIESBURG — A long-lingering dispute between the city of Hattiesburg and commercial property owners over discontinued sewer service will go to trial in July of 2015 in Forrest County Circuit Court. The Hattiesburg American reports the city hired the Hicks Law Firm. The incident that led to a complaint filed by Bryan Saliba and Dennis Pierce dates back to July of 2006. ...

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Miss. casino revenue falls on river casino weakness

JACKSON — Mississippi casino revenue fell in November, as continued weakness at casinos along the Mississippi River outweighed gains on the Gulf Coast. State Department of Revenue figures show casinos statewide won $156 million from gamblers in November, down 5 percent from $164 million in November 2013. The 12 coastal casinos won $82.8 million, up less than 1 percent from ...

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Hyatt-Place is Columbus’ newest hotel option

The Columbus and Lowndes County hospitality market is continuing a growth spurt with the opening of a Hyatt- Place Hotel that joins a new prototype Hampton Inn scheduled to open next month. Those properties follow a Courtyard By Marriot and a Fairfield Inn that have opened in the last three years. Hyatt-Place Columbus is only the second Hyatt in Mississippi, ...

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U.S. Small Business Administration awards MDA funding for state trade and export promotion program

The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded the Mississippi Development Authority funding for the Mississippi State Trade and Export Promotion Program. The STEP Program allows MDA to provide financial and technical assistance to small- and medium-sized Mississippi companies interested in growing their business through trade. Administered by MDA’s Trade Bureau, the program helps reduce some of the financial obstacles qualifying ...

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